Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 35 NC Records

Caloptilia serotinella (Ely, 1910) - Cherry Leaf Roller



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330159.00 MONA Number: 637.00
Comments: Caloptilia is a large genus with nearly 300 described species; 64 species have been described in North America north of Mexico. The larvae begin as leaf-mining sap-feeders, but the latter instars usually exit the mines and feed within a conical roll that begins at the leaf apex or at the tip of a leaf lobe.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: (Ely, 1910, Forbes, 1923).Technical Description, Immature Stages: Ely (1910)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The adults are readily identifiable by the dark brown to purplish-brown forewing that is boldly mottled with white. A large white costal patch with a dark center is usually evident just before the mid-point. The cilia on the forewing often has two or three yellowish-tan streaks that cut through the darker ground color. The antennae are dark with white annulations, except for the first three segments which are whitish. The femur and tibia of the front and middle leg are brown with fine white mottling, while the tarsi are whitish with heavy dusky markings. The rear leg is yellowish tan with darker markings concentrated on the lower half.
Wingspan: 13-14 mm (Ely, 1910)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae produce epidermal mines on cherry leaves and may use either the upper and lower surfaces. The mine begins with a rather long, whitish, Phyllocnistis-like track that may have a distinct brown frass line. This ends in a large, more or less wrinkled, whitish blotch that is often formed along the midrib. Underside mines end in a small, tentiform blotch, while those on the upper surface expand into a larger blotch that remains more or less flat (Eiseman, 2021). Upon exiting the mine, the larva folds the tip of the leaf over to form a hollow tetrahedron or conical roll (Ely, 1910). The yellowish cocoon is spun in a slightly folded leaf, and the pupal skin is left protruding from one end after the adult emerges. It is not uncommon for a single leaf to have two or three mines on it.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This species is primarily found in the north-central and northeastern US, and in adjoining areas of southeastern Canada. Populations in the North Carolina mountains appear to be disjunct from the main range and occur at elevations that range from the low valleys to the highest peaks (Mt. Mitchell; iNaturalist).
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Immature Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: In North Carolina, the adults are active during warm weather from March through early December. Caloptilia serotinella appears to be multivoltine based on data for adult records from throughout the eastern US.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: In North Carolina, C. serotinella appears to be restricted to the Blue Ridge where it feeds on Prunus serotina. This species is found throughout most of the state where it is common along forest edges and in other disturbed or early successional habitats. Black Cherry is also common in bottomlands and in rich, mesic hardwood forests, particularly where past disturbance has allowed seedlings to establish.
Larval Host Plants: The host plants are poorly documented. Although Robinson et al. (2010) reported that Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) is the only known host, it is possible that other cherries such as Fire Cherry are used in the NC mountains. As of 2021, all of our records are from Black Cherry.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to UV lights. Data on the host plants is needed, and searches for folded leaf tips on Prunus species such as P. pensylvanica could produce new host data.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Montane Rosaceous Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
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 Photo Gallery for Caloptilia serotinella - Cherry Leaf Roller

35 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-15
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-09-17
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-08-03
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Becky Elkin and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-02
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-31
Yancey Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mines were on Black Cherry.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-24
Jackson Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-23
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-21
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-21
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-21
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-21
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-13
McDowell Co.
Comment: A Black Cherry leaf with two unoccupied mines.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-13
McDowell Co.
Comment: A Black Cherry leaf with three unoccupied mines.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-13
McDowell Co.
Comment: A leaf cone on a Black Cherry that contained a larva inside.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-06-23
Avery Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mines were on Black Cherry.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-06-23
Avery Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mines were on Black Cherry.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-03-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-02-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-11-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-11-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2020-10-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-07-06
Yancey Co.
Comment: A epidermal leaf mine on Black Cherry. The mine somewhat resemble that of a Phyllocnistis species in being very shallow and whitish.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-05-31
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-12-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-11-22
Madison Co.
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